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INTRODUCTORY  ESSAY.                                167
but at last both turn abruptly south, to discharge their waters
into the Indian Ocean. The chain between these rivers and
the plains of India is the Himalaya, which is connected with
the still loftier chain of the Kouenlun behind at the common
source of these two rivers by mountains of comparatively mo-
derate elevation, which are perhaps portions of a chain run-
ning from south-west to north-east, and forming the water-
shed of Asia as far as the Sea, of Japan. Nothing can be
more simple than this definition, which is that given l}y Mr.
Hodgson, and we think it is the only one which will suffice.
The Himalaya thus includes the whole extent of country be-
tween the Indus at Attok and the great bend of the Brahma-
putra, but nothing to the west of the Indus or to the east" of
the Brahmaputra. The axis of the main chain of the Hima-
laya lies in general far back, much nearer to the two great
rivers which run behind it than to the plains of India; hence
the secondary chains on the south face are much more im-
portant than those on the north.
The Himalaya may be regarded as consisting of two por-
tions, one on each side of the point of origin of the meri-
dional ridge, by which it is connected with the Kouculun
behind. Of these the Western Himalaya is rather shorjber
than the Eastern, and it is better known thi-oughout a great
part of its course from its lying within British territory, while
the Eastern Himalaya is for the most part Tibetan. The
elevation of the chain is probably everywhere very great, no
known pass across the watershed being of lower elevation
than 16,500 feet, except close to the extremities of the chain.
The most remarkable depressions in the inner Himalaya are
the Rotang Pass between Kulu and Lahul, whi^h is 13,000
feet, and the Zoji Pass between Kashiair and Dras, which is
only 11,300 feet.
From the central axis of the chain of the Himalaya a suc-
cession of secondary ranges take their origin, which descend
on the one haiul towards the plains of India, andou the other
towards the northern rivers. These secondary chains, on the